Chip designer Arm’s workforce nearly halves despite SoftBank promise
British semiconductor darling Arm has lost 40 per cent of the workforce built up through a pledge by its owner SoftBank.
Japanese investment giant SoftBank promised the UK government that it would help support the chipmaker in becoming a wafer-powerhouse, when it first bought the company in 2016.
At the time, SoftBank said it would double Arm’s 1,770 British staff over the next five years.
However, the UK teams have been disproportionately hit in recent cuts.
Around 18 per cent of the company’s global staff have been axed since numbers peaked at 6,950 in September last year, the Financial Times first reported.
The chip designer announced in March that it had plans to scrap between 12 and 15 per cent of its staff worldwide, in a bid to slim down ahead of a potential float.
Arm now has 2,800 UK employees – around 740 fewer staff than pledged in 2016.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the firm’s venture capital arm, also has plans to axe at least a third of its global workforce global, according to Bloomberg last week.
Arm’s dwindling workforce hit the company at a turbulent time.
The tech giant had been undergoing a record-breaking, but contested, $40bn (£35.1bn) takeover by US tech heavyweight Nvidia.
The deal, which was scrapped in February, was thought to have increased the chances of the British technology giant publicly listing in the US, snubbing a spot on the London market.
The takeover would have also been the largest within the chip industry to date, and eventually caught the eyes of the UK’s competition watchdog.
“Arm has a bright future and we’ll continue to support them as a proud licensee for decades to come,” Nvidia’s founder and CEO, Jensen Huang, said as he announced the deal’s termination.
A spokesperson for Arm said: “Arm’s current global headcount is in line with the needs of the business following a restructure earlier this year, and the separation of the ISG business from Arm in 2021.
“We continue to hire and invest heavily in our engineering talent, and are confident we have the talent and teams to deliver a robust compute product roadmap that enables our partner ecosystem to build the future on Arm.”
City A.M. has contacted SoftBank for comment.